I grew up around cars. My dad was in the automobile business, and from an early age I was exposed to the inner workings of these machines, focusing on performance and precision.
Fast forward to adulthood and I, too, am now in the business of fine machines, with Crown & Caliber, a buyer and seller of pre-owned luxury watches.
Like cars, watches don’t hold their initial value and tend to depreciate immediately, so the pre-owned marketplace is a pathway to an incredible machine at a fraction of the cost. It’s also a great business opportunity; the pre-owned luxury watch business did about $5 billion globally last year, according to Forbes.
Unfortunately, both businesses often suffer from a lack of transparency and consumer trust.
At Crown and Caliber, we are opening up the process and winning consumer trust by providing value, an improved user experience, and consistent and informed customer support.
Our team of 50 includes 11 on our watchmaking team and nine client success representatives who stock more than 2,000 pre-owned luxury watches from over 40 brands. We’re a young company, but we are seeing steady growth, and I believe that some of that is due to processes and platforms we have implemented, including our Customer Relationship Management platform from SugarCRM.
Improve Turnaround Time
Crown & Caliber decided on Sugar before I started working here, but because of my CRM experience and my focus on the customer, it became my project to implement.
Our chief goals were to:
- Create greater visibility into the business and our customers
- Improve communication with customers and internally with different departments
- Gather and analyse data to drive business decisions.
Results to date include:
- 50 percent improvement in getting acquisitions into our repair and polishing pipeline
- 27 percent faster time to “for sale” listing.
We use Sugar to manage a variety of our processes. This includes the offers we make on watches, our inventory, and operational/logistical changes, such as shipping, address changes, etc.
Our initial Sugar launch didn’t go as planned, because we hadn’t taken a close look at our processes and rules from the previous CRM. They had just been imported into the database.
We needed to take a step back and develop new processes and rules. To do this, we turned to a consultant for process mapping and to our Sugar partner, Milos Miric of Eontek.
Milos is more than a developer. He has a technology background but is also a serious business guy and offers a great ideas. With his help, we implemented a robust tool that works well for our business and has improved efficiencies.
I don’t have all the answers, but here are some best practices Milos and our team used to add value and plan our CRM project:
How to Plan for Your CRM
- Understand what you want to accomplish - It’s easy to say you want to track customer information. But why? For us, 25% of our customers are repeats and own, on average, three watches. We focus on building relationships as customers continue to purchase watches. With that information and relationship, we target our campaigns more effectively.
- Document your business requirements and processes - You can’t be too detailed here. Some of the insights you develop through discussions will help identify the functionality you do and don’t need in CRM
- Involve users - Get your stakeholders in a room and talking. Have them walk through how they may use the system and what they think they will need. For us, we learned a lot about the visual aspects of creating forms when listening to our users.
Our re-launch was much more successful, but we still needed to work through typical adoption issues. For our client services team, this meant moving away from their Outlook inboxes and to more automation to help improve efficiency and the client experience.
Once we defined processes and started automations – like following up with potential sellers who didn’t use their mailing labels or didn’t respond to our initial offer – the client services role got a little easier. Using the information shared in the CRM, they now could work with any client, see where the customer was in the process and leave notes for each other about customer questions.
Untangling ‘The Snake’
By mapping our processes, we identified and fine-tuned some weaknesses.
We have a process called “The Snake.” It is the path a watch follows from the time it comes through our doors until it is listed on our site.
This process begins when a customer sends a watch we have agreed to buy. It goes through authentication and inspection. If it needs service or repairs, it goes to the watch-making team and then is sent through the refinishing shop. After that, it’s ready to list.
Often, the same person was taking one watch all the way through “The Snake.” Once we created specialisations in the process, and set up Sugar to track the timepiece, we cut the Snake time by 27 percent.
Another challenge we faced was our inventory backlog. Watches weren’t getting into the process fast enough. They were just sitting in safes. With Sugar and the new processes, we cut that time in half.
Jason Allen is the chief marketing officer for Crown & Caliber and formerly held leadership roles within Autotrader focused on sales, service and customer experience.
Pipeline and Lead Campaigns
As we unclogged “The Snake” and cut the backlog of watches, we improved our insight into our leads and pipeline.
About 80 percent of our business is B2C. For us, leads come through our website, paid search, partners, word of mouth, social media, and relationships with our retail partners.
We know at a given time how many watches we want from those leads and our win rate. From this, we can build a model on lead generation to help us meet our goals, and Sugar helps with this.
By monitoring the funnel, we know when we need to increase marketing to fill the top of the funnel, but more importantly, we know exactly what is in our funnel. This allows us to reach out to clients who may have questions before moving forward on a sale or purchase and aids us in planning our team’s workload because we know what is enroute.
Do I think that we got our Sugar launch right the second time around? I think we did.
Just my ability to pull numbers so conveniently and implement effective processes show that CRM gives us tangible insights that are, in turn, transforming our business.
About Crown and Caliber
Industry: Luxury Timepieces
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA